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Campaign pushes organ donation

5th March 2008

The Scottish Government has launched a push to increase the number of people pledging to donate their organs.

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The issue was debated in the Holyrood Parliament with MSPs hearing that organ donation rates had to improve in Scotland and that there was currently a ‚Äúdesperate shortage‚Ä? of organs for transplant.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has also indicated that she is looking at considering a move towards an opt-out system of organ donation.

While 93% of adults support organ donation, only 29% of Scots have joined the organ donor register.

In unveiling the new campaign, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: ‚ÄúThe fact is that in spite of all our efforts to date, Scotland‚Äôs organ donation rate is the lowest in the UK, at 9.8 per million population. In turn, the UK‚Äôs donation rate - 13.2 per million population - is one of the lowest in the EU - countries like Spain have shown that rates of 33 per million population are possible.‚Ä?

The new campaign would include advertising and debate on a system of presumed consent where organ donation us assumed unless an individual specifically elects to opt out.

Figures show that in 2006/07, about 100 people died in Scotland while needing an organ transplant.

There have also been calls for more organ transplant coordinators to be recruited and a better infrastructure of staff and beds for an improved service.

The Scottish Parliament also heard the former First Minister Donald Dewar donated his organs following his death in 2000 from a brain haemorrhage.

 

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